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Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson, has called on the Jamaican community overseas not to lose its focus in the midst of the current global difficulties.
Speaking against the background of the global financial crisis, Senator Robinson asserted that just as the crisis had a beginning, there would be an end.
“And, so we have to continue to fight and to prepare our economy to take advantage of that situation when the upturn comes,” he said.
Updating a gathering of elected officials, staff and faculty at St. Francis College, in downtown Brooklyn, New York, USA on April 21, Senator Robinson noted that Jamaica, like so many other countries in the Caribbean region, is feeling the brunt of the crisis, due to its dependence on certain industries, namely bauxite and tourism, resulting in reduced revenues and job losses.
Dr. Robinson said that the global financial and economic crisis, coupled with Jamaica’s dependence on oil and its classification as a middle income developing country, demanded the kind of governance that is informed by tough decisions.
“You can therefore understand the national dilemma, particularly in the present context. We therefore have to be frugal in what we do and the amount of resources we are able to spend, when you consider that for every dollar Jamaica earns, 53 cents go to debt repayment,” he said.
Dr. Robinson urged Jamaicans to view the current global economic crisis as just another hurdle.
“We are not strangers to adversity and we look for the positives in everything. This crisis is no different, and we view it as one with tremendous opportunities as well,” he said.
Welcoming Dr. Robinson to Brooklyn, Deputy Borough President, Yvonne Graham, noted that, “Jamaicans, by their many charitable and investment activities, recognise that the solutions to the problems lie not only within the geographic boundaries, but by tapping into resources of nationals abroad and by establishing partnerships that will strengthen our position in the global arena.”
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, in her message, read by District Director Anita Taylor, praised the contribution of the immigrant community and Jamaicans in particular, to the economic life of the borough and the nation, and pledged to use her office to continue to champion the cause of the Caribbean community on Capitol Hill.
Consul-General Geneive Brown Metzger; Deputy Consul-General, Tracey Blackwood; NY State Assemblyman N. Nick Perry and Mrs. Perry; and President of St. Francis College Brendan J. Dugan, headed those in attendance.